Bye Bye Birdie Live! Delayed to 2018

Bye Bye Birdie Live! Delayed to 2018

It appears that fans are going to have to wait a little longer to see JLo’s Bye Bye Birdie Live!.

The NBC network has announced that its live musical starring Jennifer Lopez (Jlo) that was set for December 2017 has been pushed to 2018. The news comes two weeks after NBC announced a live production of Jesus Christ Superstar for Easter Sunday 2018.

The delay is due to Lopez’s busy schedule; she stars on NBC’s recently renewed Shades of Blue and will be a judge and mentor on its summer dance competition World of Dance.

Lopez will play Rosie in Bye Bye Birdie Live! and also executive produces with Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Benny Medina, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. Universal Television will produce with Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions, Storyline and Sony Pictures Television. Harvey Fierstein is writing the teleplay adaptation, with Tony winner Jerry Mitchell and Emmy winner Alex Rudzinski set to direct.

Dream Cast Announced for Bye Bye Birdie Live!

Dream Cast Announced for Bye Bye Birdie Live!

JLoByeByeBirdie.com, a website dedicated to presenting the latest news and rumors for NBC’S upcoming ‘Bye Bye Birdie Live!’ starring and produced by Jennifer Lopez (JLo), announces its Bye Bye Birdie Live! Dream Cast.

Inspired by real life rock star Elvis Presley, Conrad Birdie is drafted into the Army. His manager Albert Peterson puts his head together with longtime girlfriend Rose Alvarez and the two concoct a plan to have Birdie kiss one fan goodbye live on the Ed Sullivan Show, before going into the Army. The fan chosen to receive “One Last Kiss” from Birdie turns out to be all American girl Kim MacAfee who must deal with pressures from a jealous boyfriend (Hugo Peabody) and over protective father (Harry MacAfee). Meanwhile Albert’s romance with Rose is complicated by his over bearing mother’s interference.

ROSE ALVAREZ – Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez has been attached to play Rose ever since NBC decided to make ‘Bye Bye Birdie Live!’ its 2017 foray into live musicals. JLo, as she is often called, is a singer, actress, dancer, and producer. She first gained fame for her dance as a Fly Girl on the series ‘In Living Color.’ Since then she has gained notoriety for her album sales and acting career. Her single ‘On the Floor’ is one of the best-selling singles of all time. She currently stars on the NBC series ‘Shades of Blue.’

ALBERT PETERSON – Neil Patrick Harris

The possibilities for Albert Peterson are virtually endless. There are many very skilled performers who could do justice to the role. Matthew Broderick is an actor who is very dependable. He is affable and talented, exactly what JLo will need in the actor staring opposite her. However, while most of his career he has been blessed with youthful looks, time is starting to catch up with him. He might just be too old to be believable as Albert. So, beating out Broderick in the Dream Cast is Neil Patrick Harris.

Harris has a youthful look to match Lopez. He has won a Tony for his headlining Broadway performance in ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’ and an Emmy for his guest starring role on the television musical series ‘Glee.’ In short, he can sing, dance, and act; is the right age for the part; and has a charisma that will compliment that of Lopez.

CONRAD BIRDIE – Ricky Martin

There are several directions stage director Jerry Mitchell and live-television director Alex Rudzinski can take in casting central character Conrad Birdie. Birdie has to be reminiscent of Elvis without being an imitation. Not only does he have to have the pelvis thrusts of Elvis, and the pipes to match, he has to have sex appeal that will translate to television audiences.

Nick Jonas has expressed interest in playing Birdie. While he would add another marquee star to the production, he isn’t quite the right match to play Birdie. While an amazingly talented performer, Jonas could be considered too short, and his vocal range too limited to impress.

Rikki Lee Travolta has also expressed interest in playing Birdie. Making a comeback from a disability, Travolta has the right look and sexual energy to fill the bill. However there are two potential strikes against Travolta: would NBC be willing to take a chance on a disabled person? And, while Travolta has an extensive theatrical resume (including playing Birdie), he is less known to television audiences.

Ultimately the best bet for the Dream Cast is Ricky Martin. Like Jonas, he has an International fan base. Like Travolta, he has the looks and sexuality necessary to make Birdie believable. Martin has scored Billboard hits as a pop singer and has starred on Broadway, most recently in ‘Evita.’

KIM MACAFEE – Vanessa Hudgens

Just as important as having the right Birdie for ‘Bye Bye Birdie Live!’, NBC also must be selective in their casting of teenage center of attention Kim MacAfee.

Taylor Swift would be an interesting casting choice, and if she expressed interest she would probably be a shoe-in. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean she would be the ideal Kim.

While Swift has mega star power, in terms of translating charisma in a theatrical role Vanessa Hudgens has her beat. Hudgens has stared on stage in ‘Rent’ and on television in ‘Grease Live!’ Ultimately she has the best combination of innocent looks, mature vocal and acting talents, and marquee name value to make the Dream Cast.

HARRY MACAFEE – Nathan Lane

Nathan Lane is one of the biggest names in Broadway, but he has a hard time finding work in television and film. Playing Harry MaCafee in ‘Bye Bye Birdie Live!’ is the perfect vehicle for Lane to add to his television credits.

In addition to having his own signature vocal style, Lane is a comic genius. He edges out Kelsey Grammer and Alec Baldwin to make the Dream Cast. Lane has won multiple Tony awards including ones for his performances in ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum’ and ‘The Producers.’ He seems the best suited to chew up the scenery in this juicy part.

MAE PETERSON – Carol Burnett

Producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan could go in several directions in casting Albert’s domineering mother Mae Peterson. Ann-Margret starred as Kim MacAfee in the 1963 film adaptation of ‘Bye Bye Birdie.’ It could be a treat for audiences to have here return to the material as Mae Peterson.

Another option for Mae that could delight fans is Betty White. White’s career has spawned over 75 years. She has received eight Emmy awards and many other distinctions including Screen Actors Guild awards and a Grammy. At 95 years old, she is still going strong.

In the end, the Dream Cast Mae Peterson is Carol Burnett. Burnett’s comedic genius has been on display on stage, on television, and on the silver screen since 1955. Most well-known for her series ‘The Carol Burnett Show,’ she has starred on Broadway and has won multiple Emmy and Golden Globe awards.

HUGO PEABODY – Chris Colfer

In all likelihood Hugo Peabody will be played by an unknown. However, if he’s available the Dream Cast role of Hugo would have to go to Chris Colfer.

Colfer is best known for his role on the hit television show ‘Glee’ – wherein he has well proven his ability for song and dance. He has won Screen Actors Guild awards, Teen Choice awards, and Golden Globe awards.

NBC’s ‘Bye Bye Birdie Live!’ will air December 2017.

JLoByeByeBirdie.com is not affiliated with Nuyorican Productions or NBC.

NBC Bye Bye Birdie Live! Casting Contenders Analysis

NBC Bye Bye Birdie Live! Casting Contenders Analysis

JLoByeByeBirdie.com is proud to present a comprehensive list of performers that may be in consideration for NBC’s upcoming ‘Bye Bye Birdie Live!

The role of Rosie has been cast. Jennifer Lopez (JLo) will play the Latino principal, as well as serve as Executive Producer.

Albert Peterson:

Opposite JLo, casting ideas for the lead role of Albert, include Neil Patrick Harris, John Stamos, Matthew Broderick, Sean Hayes. All four are Broadway and TV veterans, with Neil Patrick Harris being the most decorated candidate in terms of awards. John Stamos stands out as having played the role on Broadway.

Conrad Birdie:

In the supporting role of Elvis-inspired Conrad Birdie, candidates include TV stars Chris Carmack and Darren Criss, pop stars Ricky Martin and Nick Jonas, and live theater stars Adam Pascal and Rikki Lee Travolta. At 5’7” and 5’8” respectively, Darren Criss and Nick Jonas may be too minute in stature to do justice to the role. However, Nick Jonas remains the early favorite to play Birdie, although Rikki Lee Travolta remains the sentimental favorite – as that he is the only one of the candidates to have played the role. At 5’11” Chris Carmack and Rikki Lee Travolta have the imposing stature and inherent charm to do justice to the role. Adam Pascal and Ricky Martin are similarly qualified, standing 6’.

Kim MacAfee:

As for the central role of Kim MacAfee – the girl rock star Conrad Birdie is to kiss on the Ed Sullivan show before going off to war – the contenders are varied and interesting. Music superstar Taylor Swift is a prime candidate to play Kim. At 5’10 she embodies the “too tall” reference in the Telephone Hour song. Vanessa Hudgens has proven herself on television and on stage – most recently appearing in ‘Grease Live!Salena Gomez is another well rounded contender to play Kim. Salena has excelled as both a television actress and as a recording artist. ‘Nashville’ star Hayden Panettiere is another multi-talented actress who could do justice eto the role of Kim. Although she is slightly older than the other candidates, Hayden Panettiere has the youthful looks to pull off the teenage role (Natalie Wood was 25 when she played 16 year old Maria in the film version of ‘West Side Story.’

Harry MacAfee:

The role of Kim’s over-protective father is a comic gem. There is no shortage of character actors who could provide a winning presence opposite Lopez. Kelsey Grammer, Alec Baldwin, Nathan Lane, Jim Belushi, Brent Spiner, and Terry Bradshaw each has a unique comedic style that they could bring to the table. It’s not the biggest role in the musical, but is a memorable one that can steal the show.

Sweet Apple Mayor:

While there are many directions the producers could go with in casting the Mayor of Sweet Apple, only one name truly stands out – that of Dick Van Dyke. He is the actor who originated the role of Albert on Broadway and reprised his role in the 1963 film adaptation. Van Dyke is scheduled to do a cameo appearance in the new ‘Marry Poppins’ sequel – so he’s obviously not afraid to visit projects he is affiliated with, but in a new capacity.

Mae Peterson (Albert’s mother):

Originally recommended by the theater website TheaterMania.com, Carol Burnette is the spot-on favorite to play Albert’s controlling mother Mae Peterson. Carol Burnette is a brilliant comedian and would provide a stellar performance.

Hugo Peabody (Kim’s boyfriend):

JLoByeByeBirdie.com has only one name to offer for the role of Hugo Peabody – that of ‘Glee’ star Chris Colfer. He has the youthful looks, stellar voice, and comedic timing to make the role his own.

JLo Bye Bye Birdie Casting Scouting Report: Chris Carmack

JLo Bye Bye Birdie Casting Scouting Report: Chris Carmack

When it comes to pre-production on NBC’s upcoming ‘Bye Bye Birdie Live!’, in the casting department the role of Conrad Birdie is quickly becoming a large and varied race.

Nick Jonas has expressed interest in playing Birdie, and Executive Producer Jennifer Lopez has reciprocated by saying that she would be interested in the pairing too. However, rumors run rampant in Hollywood without ever coming to fruition. So until Executive Producers JLo, Neil Meron, Craig Zadan, and directors Jerry Mitchell and Alex Rudzinski reach an agreement with Jonas, the casting wheels will continue to churn.

One actor who should definitely be in the mix is Chris Carmack. Most recognized for his role on ‘Nashville’, Carmack is young, handsome, can carry a tune, play guitar, and is an instantly recognizable TV star.

One of the strikes fans against frontrunner Jonas is that he is only 5’7’’- perhaps too small opposite JLo’s 5’6” stature as Rosie. Carmack, on the other hand, stands a respectable 5’11”. Sometimes size does matter.

#ByeByeBirdieLive #JLo #ConradBirdie #Jennifer Lopez #ChrisCarmack #ByeByeBirdieCasting #NeilMeron #CraigZadan #JerryMitchell #AlexRudziski

 

JLo Bye Bye Birdie Casting Scouting Report: Terry Bradshaw

JLo Bye Bye Birdie Casting Scouting Report: Terry Bradshaw

As long as screenwriter Harvey Fierstein doesn’t steer the ship too far from shore, ‘Bye Bye Birdie Live!’ is going to be filled with over-the-top characters. One such character is that of Harry MacKafee.

Jennifer Lopez, Neil Meron, and Craig Zadan and Directors Jerry Mitchell and Alex Rudzinski could play it safe and go with a Broadway pro like Nathan Lane. On the flip side, they could get pretty wacky with casting and still make it memorable. One such personality that could give the Harry MacKafee role an over-the-top injection of adrenalin is Terry Bradshaw.

Bradshaw is known by millions for his NFL player heroics and affable and humorous broadcasting style. But he has turned up in a very comical father character in ‘Failure to Launch’ – in which Matthew McConaughey plays his son. He also has numerous television credits on hit shows.

While it is yet to be known if Bradshaw is a passable singer, he certainly would make up for it with enthusiasm. Plus, it would draw in a whole different demographic (that being football fans).

JLo Bye Bye Birdie Casting Scouting Report: Ricky Martin

JLo Bye Bye Birdie Casting Scouting Report: Ricky Martin

As Executive Producers Jennifer Lopez, Neil Meron, and Craig Zadan and Directors Jerry Mitchell and Alex Rudzinski prepare for the December 2017 production of ‘Bye Bye Birdie Live!’, the race for who will be playing Conrad Birdie is intensifying.

Pop star Nick Jonas and musical theater star Rikki Lee Travolta may be the popular choices according to rumors and fan excitement, but there are other stellar candidates to consider.

One such candidate is Ricky Martin. Like Nick Jonas, Ricky Martin is a bonafide pop star. Like Rikki Lee Travolta his is a tall, handsome musical theater star. His Broadway credits include ‘Les Miserables’ and ‘Evita’. Plus, it would put another Latino in the cast alongside JLo.

As casting choices narrow down in anticipation of NBC’s ‘Bye Bye Birdie Live!’, don’t be surprised if Ricky Martin joins Nick Jonas and Rikki Lee Travolta at the top of the dream cast list.

Harvey Fierstein Updating Bye Bye Birdie Live! to Be Less ‘Sexist’

Harvey Fierstein Updating Bye Bye Birdie Live! to Be Less ‘Sexist’

In a recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter, screenwriter Harvey Fierstein revealed that he is making changes to the script for NBC’s ‘Bye Bye Birdie Live!’ to make Jennifer Lopez’s character Rosie more forward-thinking.

“Having Rosie be Albert’s secretary whom he’s having an affair with is sexist and old-fashioned,” says Fierstein.

Instead, Fierstein has opted to make Rosie and Albert teachers who are co-workers and discover would-be rock star Conrad Birdie together.

“He’s the English teacher who writes a song, and she’s the music teacher who says, ‘I’ve got a great kid with a great voice,'” explains Fierstein, who also notes that some lyrics to the opening number “An English Teacher” will changed to better fit the new character dynamics.

Fierstein also wrote the teleplay adaptation of t ‘Hairspray Live’ in which he also stared as Edna Turnblad. He previously won a Tony for the role on Broadway.

The gravel-voiced actor is best known for the play and film ‘Torch Song Trilogy’, which he wrote and starred in both Off-Broadway and on Broadway. The 1982 Broadway production won him two Tony Awards, for Best Play and Best Actor in a Play, two Drama Desk Awards, for Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Actor in a Play, and the Theatre World Award, and the film adaptation earned him an Independent Spirit Award nomination as Best Male Lead.

Fierstein also wrote the book for the musical ‘La Cage aux Folles’, for which he won the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical, and wrote the book for the Tony Award-winning ‘Kinky Boots’. He was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2007.